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Health run attracts nearly 100 athletes

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POSTED: September 22, 2013 10:30 p.m.
Photo by Emily C. Harrison/

Guardians in Action won the best group award at the run.

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In its first year, the Healthy Hinesville 5K Run/Walk event brought out almost 100 community members, including several groups, to support mental-health awareness. The Sept. 7 event, which fell on a beautiful, sunny morning, raised $2,205 for patients at Georgia Regional Hospital.
Runners and walkers met in downtown Hinesville’s Bradwell Park to pick up registration packets and race numbers. Upbeat music played as participants visited tables manned by sponsors, including State Farm Insurance Agent Joseph Grant, Ease the Pain Massage Clinic, Ankle & Foot Associates and the Coastal Health District. A group of Savannah Striders running club members kept order and clocked participants’ times.
Although many local groups, law-enforcement entities, nonprofits and civic clubs hold 3K and 5K run/walks throughout the year, this is the first event of its kind put on by the city, Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas said. It was part of the Healthy Hinesville initiative, which promotes healthy activities and habits in the community.
“This is a state initiative to get all the cities and the communities in a healthy mode — walking, running or doing other forms of exercise. This event was another way to do that,” Thomas said.
The crowd exceeded the mayor’s expectations, and he said he hopes it will grow every year.
Thomas emceed the event. He thanked the participants, called for them to gather at the starting point on Main Street and officially kicked off the run, sending everyone off on the 3.1-mile course through the city.
Hinesville public-relations man-
ager Krystal Hart also was encouraged by the turnout. Ninety-two In its first year, the Healthy Hinesville 5K Run/Walk event brought out almost 100 community members, including several groups, to support mental-health awareness. The Sept. 7 event, which fell on a beautiful, sunny morning, raised $2,205 for patients at Georgia Regional Hospital.
Runners and walkers met in downtown Hinesville’s Bradwell Park to pick up registration packets and race numbers. Upbeat music played as participants visited tables manned by sponsors, including State Farm Insurance Agent Joseph Grant, Ease the Pain Massage Clinic, Ankle & Foot Associates and the Coastal Health District. A group of Savannah Striders running club members kept order and clocked participants’ times.
Although many local groups, law-enforcement entities, nonprofits and civic clubs hold 3K and 5K run/walks throughout the year, this is the first event of its kind put on by the city, Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas said. It was part of the Healthy Hinesville initiative, which promotes healthy activities and habits in the community.
“This is a state initiative to get all the cities and the communities in a healthy mode — walking, running or doing other forms of exercise. This event was another way to do that,” Thomas said.
The crowd exceeded the mayor’s expectations, and he said he hopes it will grow every year.
Thomas emceed the event. He thanked the participants, called for them to gather at the starting point on Main Street and officially kicked off the run, sending everyone off on the 3.1-mile course through the city.
Hinesville public-relations man-
ager Krystal Hart also was encouraged by the turnout. Ninety-two people registered, and several children walked with parents but were not registered. Hart stressed that physical fitness is just one factor in overall wellness. She thought the 5K was a great opportunity to promote another cause.
“We felt that in health and wellness, most people only think about weight loss and exercise, but we know that mental health is also an important part of the picture ... We wanted to remind people of mental-health awareness and shed light on some of the resources that we have here in the community,” Hart said.
A number of area groups and businesses showed up to lend support, including the Bradwell Institute cross-country team, Guardians in Action, Curves for Women and the Liberty Run Group, among others.
Race participants were divided into the following age groups: 15-25, 26-35, 36-49 and 50+ years.
The BI cross-country squad’s 14 varsity runners “led the pack” in many respects. Jamorris Hill took first place in his age group and was the very first runner to cross the finish with an official time of 18:13, beating the second-place finisher by 47 seconds. Lady Tiger McKaylin Darcy was the first female runner to cross the finish with a time of 22:30, and she took first place in her age-group.
Tiger cross-country coach Sean Redmond waited near the finish line on Main Street, cheering on his runners and encouraging them to make the most of the last 100 or so yards. He coordinated with parents to get the students to the event as a training opportunity and a show of support for the community.
“We wanted to keep it local and do something in the community, and this is a great way to show our support,” Redmond said.
He added that the Tigers’ cross-country season already is under way, and the team has been training hard and using 5K events, such as Saturday’s run, as timed trials.
Redmond was pleased with this team’s performance at the event but said they still have a lot of work to do this season.
Guardians In Action, a local community-service nonprofit with ties to Liberty and Long counties, took home the “Top Group” trophy. They had 26 participants, many of whom brought their children.
GIA Executive Director Courtney Davis said she was thrilled with the group’s accomplishments Saturday.
“This was an awesome experience to be able to show our support for mental-health awareness. We try to do as many 5Ks and other community events as we can. ... If there is a problem that we can help bring awareness to, that’s what we’re all about,” she said.
Davis said they would have had an even bigger showing at the event, but the Guardian’s president, vice president and other members went to Pooler that morning for another 5K that raised money for Wounded Warriors.
To conclude the morning’s event, Thomas handed out medals to the top male and female runners in each age group. He also gave the top team, the Guardians in Action, a trophy and city of Hinesville coins.
Hart expressed gratitude for all the volunteers and community members who supported the event. She said the city already is looking forward to the 2014 event, which likely will be on the first Saturday of October to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week.

 

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